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England 2015

May 23, 2015 – Day 5

A morning walk to the nearby village of Ebrington (pub lunch and ancient church!) and then a FANTASTIC day at Chez Edwards – talking, eating, and laughing until the evening.

Here are all of today’s photos

Beautiful garden in EbringtonWe’re on our own this morning, as John and Marianne are preparing for a large gathering for us over at Oakleigh House, their lovely Cotswolds home – just a mile away from Charingworth.

After a *light* breakfast, as we’ve been told to “pace ourselves” today, Kathy, LeAnn, and I walk to the local village of Ebrington.

It’s about a mile away, as well, along a charmingly narrow country road. It was a great walk, and as we arrive in Ebrington, the local gardens are in full bloom.

Give me a high-speed internet connection here, and I could easily live this life!

The Ebrington ArmsAfter walking through the village, we arrive at The Ebrington Arms a little before noon.

Since they don’t serve lunch until noon (sharp!), we grab a table near the (not lit nor needed, but still cool to sit next to) fireplace and order some refreshments.

The owners of The Ebrington Arms have also started their own local brewing company, so of *course* I have to sample one of the local ales – the “Goldie” Pale Ale was PERFECT after that little country walk.

After a nice lunch and enjoying the conversations of the locals going on around us, we press on to the village church, St. Eadburgha’s.

St. EadburghasThis beautiful and ancient church was nestled within a group of homes, with a charming narrow and stone-walled pathway leading to its gate.

The smell of the freshly-mown grass, clippings still evident on the ground on the gravestones that surrounded the church, gave a very “English country” feel to the setting.

Once inside, the overwhelming sense of history was almost physical. It was just the three of us in the church, but you could sense the activity that has occurred within these stone walls and stained glass since the 13th century.

We all spend time in thought and reflection, looking at the various windows and carvings, or just sitting in the pews. It’s a really special moment, as I love visiting old village churches.

Outside the church itself, is an old grave slab, whose exact age and “owner” are unknown, but the markings and engraved cross suggest it might belong to a Knight Crusader.

Read more about our time in Ebrington here: An afternoon in Ebrington and St. Eadburgha’s

After a truly enjoyable visit, we walk back to Charingworth Manor to get cleaned up (with me slipping on some mud and dinging the lens hood, but not my expensive lens!) as Marianne is coming to pick us up for an afternoon at Chez Edwards!

Before we head over, I take a really cool 360 degree PhotoSphere of Charingworth – drag it around with your mouse for the full experience!

Oakleigh HouseJohn has been cooking ALL DAY in anticipation of our coming, along with his mother, brother, and sister-in-law. Oakleigh House is a great home for entertaining, and the land that it sits upon is lovely for walking both before and after dinner.

Jean, Patrick, and Caroline arrive and we all enjoy a brief reunion, as we haven’t seen them since 2006! A few snacks and a refreshing glass (or three) of Pimm’s later, it’s time to start the feast!

First up, are the lovely appetizers! John’s actually provided restaurant-quality selections from which to choose. My prawns were so enormous that I mentioned that the last time they were seen, they were “terrorizing a Japanese city”. All jokes about Prawn-zilla aside, they were fantastic and could’ve have been a meal in and of themselves.

John and his new toyBut no. The HUGE beef roast (with home-made Yorkshire Puddings, per LeAnn’s original request!) was on tap for the main course. It was ridiculously scrumptious, and hard to say “no” to a tiny second helping.

Sharing the meal, the laughter, and the fellowship would have been amazing enough, but John had also made one of the most spectacular bread-and-butter puddings we’ve ever had.

Jean did a great job finishing the bowl. When I was going to take her picture, she asked if this was “going to be seen around the world?” When I said yes, she gave me a great big smile! 🙂

After dinner (and a drink or three), we tried to help clear things, but were “shooed” outside. Some walking and photo-taking later, John broke out his latest toy – the four-wheel-drive “garden cart”. Fun!

The laughs and enjoyment continued until late in the evening. We returned to Charingworth exhausted, but in the best possible way.

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